—My wife Audrey—aka “the Skipper”—and I spend a lot of time moving our small boats to and from the shore and hand loading them at boat ramps. We have tried a lot of different footwear for water but none of them kept our feet dry or warm, and as this winter approached, the Skipper complained that her feet were beginning to get cold. We decided it was time to look for boots that would work year-round, and as luck would have it, I spotted a gentleman wearing some nice-looking outdoor boots at our local grocery store. He was happy to answer questions about his Muck Boots and he said they were comfortable, warm, and waterproof.
We bought a pair of the women’s Hale model Muck Boots. She has found that they are easy to put on—she can step into and out of them, hands free, if needed—and the fit is comfortable. The company’s sizing runs true to her shoe size when she is wearing a normal-weight sock. The inner boot is a soft 4mm “CR Flex Foam”-brand neoprene that extends from toe to top inside of a rubber overlay lower and a self-cleaning ribbed outsole.
The fashionable black and hot-pink boots have been 100 percent waterproof. Audrey is able to get in and out of our dinghies and keep grit out of the boat with a just swish of water on the soles to clean them off. What she likes best about them is that her feet stay warm because of the neoprene and the breathable mesh lining. She had a severe ankle injury a few years ago and appreciates the stable walking platform that the outsoles provide. The insoles offer good arch support, and the material around her ankles and calves is flexible for unrestricted mobility. The outsoles are flared so her feet do not sink into the sand as far as her water shoes did, and the boots are buoyant, helping float her feet up as she steps off the bottom.
The Skipper was so enthusiastic about her boots that I decided I needed a pair. The Muck Boot Edgewater II offers features similar to those of the Hale, but with a higher rubber upper and outsole. The boots are comfortable, warm, and 100 percent waterproof as well. The tops of the boots are soft and stretchy—they can accommodate different calf sizes, I can wear my pant legs inside or outside the boots, and the upper is flexible enough to be folded down to improve air circulation in warm weather or to be folded for compact storage. The sizing ran the same as my shoe size and while there is room for a thick sock, the fit of the stretch neoprene around the ankle keeps the boots from slipping off in mud. The waffle outsole gave the Edgewater II excellent traction.
We are both very happy with our Muck Boots. They are awesome on the beach and the slippery launch ramp; we can focus on the boat and count on having good footing and warm feet.
Kent and Audrey Lewis can be found on Florida’s Emerald Coast, messing about in their flotilla of small boats. Their review of the Drascombe Lugger appears in this issue.
Is there a product that might be useful for boatbuilding, cruising or shore-side camping that you’d like us to review? Please email your suggestions.